by Lim, June 19, 2018 9:00 pm
 

 

 
Finally! The Acer Predator X27 has been released! I waited about 2 years for this moment and now it finally arrived. 4K 144Hz G-Sync HDR (High Dynamic Range) Gaming without any compromises, right? At least the specifications on the Acer Predator X27 are really promising. The X27 is also equipped with a local dimming (direct LED or FALD "Full Array LED Backlight") technology with 384 individual dimming zones behind the panel to offer a superior contrast, black level and a maximum brightness of 600 cd/m2 in HDR mode with a peak of 1000 cd/m2 (nits). On SDR the Acer has a brightness peak around 300 cd/m2. In addition, in the panel build in is a Quantum Dot IPS panel which means that it will offer superior colors compared to "older" 1440p 165Hz IPS panels on the market. So the Acer has a color gamut coverage of 100% in sRGB and 99.6% Adobe RGB as well as a color gamut volume of 171.2% in sRGB and 118% in Adobe RGB. The Predator X27 is using a panel from the panel manufacturer AU-Optronics (known for many other gaming monitors) which has a color depth of 8-Bit + FRC. G-Sync has a range of 30-144Hz.
 

Check Price for the Acer X27 4k 144Hz G-Sync HDR Gaming Monitor

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Before we start to review the monitor, you should know that the Acer X27 is currently the BEST gaming monitor on the market right now (uses the same Panel as the Asus PG27UQ and the same amount of dimming zones). But you should always keep in mind: This beast cost around 2000$ in the US and around 2500€ in Germany so that my evaluation and review is always made with the price in the back of my mind(!). I am truly in low with the X27 and I really will miss this monitor, but it also has its flaws and issues and maybe the price is not justified (for you). At least, I find 2500€ a bit too much.

 

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4K Gaming at 144Hz

The Aces 4K resolution on 27" size is really impressive, and without any scanline issues which are a very common problem within "regular" gaming monitors on the market. I could not find any artifacts, scanlines or ghosting. When using the X27 for a day and switching to the Viewsonic XG2703-GS (WQHD 2560x1440) the difference is also clearly visible. My Viewsonic has scanline issues (vertical) and sharpness issues. Playing games on a high refresh rate 4k (Ultra-HD) panel is a real pleasure.
 

True HDR Gaming with G-Sync support

HDR on the Acer looks really great, even it also has its own disadvantages. It offers a brightness peak of 1000 nits and a true 4:4:4 signal when setting the monitor to 98Hz. Unfortunately, the Acer does not have a native 10-Bit color depth panel so that we are limited to an 8-Bit + FRC solution.  Blooming on HDR is clearly more visible than on SDR and the brightness in a dimmed room (darker environment) can be often too bright. By decreasing RGB settings within the OSD you can set the maximum brightness lower, but than the image, of course, will lose a bit of the "brilliant" HDR image. When comparing blooming to my Sony XE93 (4K HDR TV with a VA panel), the blooming is a bit more obvious on the Acer, probably because of using an IPS panel.
 
 
Local Dimming is a blessing feature
I really hope that all manufacturers will start to produce panels with local dimming or rather direct LEDs. This feature already improves the overall image quality drastically, no matter which panel is used. On SDR the 384 dimming zones on the Acer X27 are doing already a good job. The problem, however, is that on a full black screen the LEDs are never turning off so that the monitor always will have a minimum brightness and I cannot understand why they didn't implement this on the Acer. On SDR content I would say that those direct LEDs have an 8 out of 10 points, especially for an IPS panel they are working very well.
(click on a photo to enlarge)
 
 
IPS Quantum Dot Colors
The colors on the Acer X27 are extremely saturated. You can cap the color gamut volume and coverage in the OSD to 100% sRGB and Adobe RGB so that you do not need necessarily to use the Quantum Dot colors on the X27. However, personally I do not like these extremely saturated colors, and they often look pretty unnatural. When comparing to my Samsung CFG70 (Quantum Dot VA panel) then I prefer the Samsung colors. You should keep in mind that the difference on camera (and on your monitor you are looking the photos at) is far less visible than in person. For HDR the intense colors are working really well and they are improving the overall HDR image. Please note: When comparing the photos, you will not see the difference as I did in person, simply because of limitations in my camera and your monitor.
(click on a photo enlarge)
 
Acer X27 build quality
The Acers overall build quality, in general, is very good, but it is simply as same as the Acer X34P for example. They didn't have added any extras or metals for example to justify the high price tag on this topic. Compared to the Asus PG27UQ, Acer has added monitor shading hoods which are really awesome and I really like them very much.
 
Acer Predator X27 Review 4k HDR console gaming monitor
The Acer X27 has on the front a very clean design. Only the Acer's Predator logo reminds on a gaming monitor. In the box included are "shading hoods" to prevent reflections.

Note / Information:
Ratings have been removed. In near future I will add comparisons (Rankings) - This will have two huge benefits. First: You will be able to compare a monitor within each topic (Coating, Black level, Black uniformity, VA Glow, Panel Frame Construction etc.) to find the best gaming monitor to for your personal preferences and second I can concentrate on much more reviews.

 

 

Updates

 

No updates yet.

 

 

Specifications

 

Panel Type IPS Quantum Dots
Backlight Local Dimming (Direct LED) 384 Zones
Display size and format 27" Inch
Maximum Resolution 3840x2160 UHD
Pixel density 163.18 PPI (Pixel per inch)
Refresh rate 120Hz native (144Hz Overclock)
Native color depth 8-Bit + FRC (native)
sRGB Color Space Coverage / Volume Coverage: 100% / Volume: 171.2%
Response time (GtG) 4 ms
Brightness SDR: 300cd/m2 HDR 600 cd/m2 (1000 nits peak)
Integrated speakers Yes
Video inputs 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DP 1.4
Audio 1x 3.5mm out
USB Hub Yes 4x USB 3.0
power consumption 70 Watts
Frame width 1.4 cm / 1.6 cm with the inner frame
Warranty period 2 years
Ergonomics Height, Tilt, Swivel
Adaptive Sync G-Sync
G-Sync Range 30-144Hz
Contrast (Native) 1000:1 stated
Contrast (Local Dimming) around 1800:1 up to 4000:1
Vesa Yes 100mm support
Curved No
 

 

Alternative 4k 144Hz HDR G-Sync Monitors


Acer X27 Review - 4k 144Hz HDR G-Sync Quantum Dot Gaming Monitor

 
Find all Alternative (G-Sync & Freesync) Ultrawide +100Hz QHD (3440x1440p) IPS & VA gaming monitors here: Gaming-Monitor-List
 
Currently, there is only one competitor to the Acer so that the X27 is one of two 4K (UHD) gaming monitors on a market which are capable of using 144Hz.
 

16:9 4K UHD 144Hz Gaming Monitors

Asus PG27UQ Check Price


 

Measurements

 
 

Contrast Overview

The contrast on the Acer X27 will vary depending on the image content. The closer a brighter object near a black background, the worse the contrast at this position will be. You should consider, that the human eye often cannot locate a "bad" black level when the black around a brighter object is worse than at the rest of the screen (for example a white text on a full black background). So that the subjective impression of the contrast on the Acer X27 already is pretty good, but not excellent. Compared to the Asus PG279Q, the Acer XB271HU or the Viewsonic-XG2703, the Acer Predator X27 is the CLREAR winner and it is also much better than a gaming monitor with a built-in VA panel (like the Samsung CHG70 or the LG 32GK850G) because the VA glow is not an issue within IPS panels.
 
Measured contrast with local dimming (direct LED) enabled in the OSD on a 40% square (40% black square, rest white screen).
 
Acer Predator X27 measured contrast and brightness with local dimming enabled on a 40% square
 
Measured contrast with local dimming (direct LED) enabled in the OSD on a 30% square (40% black square, rest white screen).

 Acer Predator X27 measured contrast and brightness with local dimming enabled on a 30% square
 
Measured contrast without local dimming (direct LED) enabled in the OSD on a 30% square (40% black square, rest white screen).

 Acer Predator X27 measured contrast and brightness without local dimming enabled on a 30% square

 
  

Optimal OSD Settings (on this unit) - Click on the image to enlarge

Acer X27 Best Settings
 
 
  
Black Crush above 120Hz (144Hz)
The Acer suffers from black crush issues when using 120Hz @SDR mode. When using HDR @144Hz, the black crush does not appear. (click on a photo to enlarge)
 
 
 

Test-Photos (16 Photos / Measurements)

    • (1) Response Time (UFO Test)
    • (2) Pixel Inversion Test
    • (3) Eiffel Tower Test (To observe Color Temperature Artifacts and smearing)
    • (4) Chase Square Test (Smearing, Overshoot)
    • (5) Frame Skipping Test
    • (6) Measured gamma on different presets
    • (7) Measured white point (color temperature) on different modes
    • (8) Chroma Subsampling (Subsample Drop) chart on HDR as well as 4:4:4, 4:2:2 + 8 and 10-Bit comparison

    • (9) Chroma Subsampling (Subsample Drop) chart on HDR as well as 4:4:4, 4:2:2 + 8 and 10-Bit comparison

    • (10) Brightness Distribution

    • (11) Text Scrolling Test

    • (12) White Point Homogeneity Color Temperature Homogeneity (on 6500K)

 

 
 

Acer Predator X27 HDR vs SDR

Before you compare those shot photos, you (strongly!) should note that the difference between SDR and HDR in person looks (totally) different than on camera (photos and video).  The HDR photos still have fewer details in blacks, not the "pop" effect due to the 1000 nits and less intense colors. (click on a photo to enlarge)
 

 

Comparison Charts to other Gaming Monitors


Maximum Brightness

Maximum brightness in cd/m2
Samsung CHG70
473
Dell S2716DG
424
Samsung S25HG50
421
Viewsonic XG2703-GS
367
Samsung CFG70
361
LG 32GK850G
356
HP Omen X35
353
Samsung CFG73
352
Acer X27
310
BenQ EW3270U
296,6


Maximum Contrast

Maximum contrast x:1
Samsung CFG70
2654
LG 32GK850G
2554
Samsung CFG73
2502
BenQ EW3270U
2448
Acer X27
2441
HP Omen X35
2218
Samsung CHG70
2102
Viewsonic XG2703-GS
1174
Samsung S25HG50
924
Dell S2716DG
686


Black point on 120 cd/m2

Black point with optimal settings (120 cd/m2 , 6500K)
Acer X27
0,05
Samsung CFG70
0,05
BenQ EW3270U
0,05
LG 32GK850G
0,05
Samsung CFG73
0,05
Samsung CHG70
0,06
HP Omen X35
0,06
Viewsonic XG2703-GS
0,1
Samsung S25HG50
0,15
Dell S2716DG
0,17


Brightness ULMB (Backlight Scanning)

ULMB not supported

 

Find your best gaming monitor (in progress)

Compare a monitor in a specific topic (Response Times, Black Uniformity, Homogeneity, Backlight-Bleed, Clouding, Brightness, Contrast, etc.) soon
 
 

Tips and Tricks for the Acer Predator X27


First

Use lamps in your room to increase the subjective black level (which already is very good on the Acer X27), lower the perception of the IPS Glow and Blooming and make the HDR mode less dazzling.
 

Second

You can reduce RGB settings to lower the max brightness peak in the HDR mode, since you cannot change the brightness within the OSD when using HDR.
 

Third

If you want to mount the monitor on the wall and use the Vesa mount adapter, I highly recommend modifying the Vesa mount with some holes so that the fan can "breathe" and. So the volume of the fan can be drastically reduced.
 
 
 

Conclusion


The Acer X27 overall is as already mentioned the best gaming monitor I have ever tested, but also clearly the most expensive one:

 

Would I suggest the Acer X27? As always, it depends - When money doesn't matter then definitely yes. For me, the price-performance ratio currently is too high and I think a price tag of maximum 1500 € would be a fair deal with the Acers existing cons. In this case the Acer would have the same price tag as my Sony XE93 and then the question would be: 55 Inch with better blacks, a better contrast and still a better overall image quality OR 144Hz and G-Sync - I really think 2500€ is definitely too much and I assume that the price for the Acer as well as for the Asus PG27UQ will drop in the next several months.


I really love this monitor and it is currently my absolute favorite, especially for singleplayer games, watching movies and simply for a superior image quality over all monitors on the market. For now, it is the best monitor for gaming on this planet which I cannot recommend for 100% because of the price tag, but I am sure that someday I will get my unit (: and I will already miss the Acer when I will send it back


If you are using the monitor in a bright environment, a lot of disadvantages are eliminated like the IPS glow, blooming, pure black level and the HDR brightness with the benefit to enjoy breathtaking true HDR gaming.


I really would appreciate if you could rate your monitor on the Lim's cave Gaming Monitor List. Like this video, if it was helpful and subscribe for further in-depth reviews and epic videos!


Acer X27 Review 4K 144Hz G-Sync HDR gaming monitor with quantum dots
The current best gaming monitor on this planet with a price tag not from this world - Acer Predator X27
 
Before you place your order on the Acer, you should definitely check how much FPS you can reach in your games with your current PC setup(!) and maybe consider to pick a Quad-HD monitor and already a high(er) end TV with an OLED or VA panel with an overall better image quality - All this for the same price as the Acer X27.

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Pro & Contra


Pro:

- Super sharp (4K) UHD screen with a very high pixel density combined with 120Hz (144Hz overclock) with G-Sync HDR Support
- 99% Adobe RGB Color Space coverage for best colors
- 384 individually controlled dimming zones (Local Dimming / FALD)
- Good gamma settings which are especially very important
- Overall a good and simple OSD Menu
- Superior white point and backlight uniformity. Much better than many other gaming monitors but still worse than graphics monitors for around 1300$ from Eizo or NEC for example.
- An excellent (!) responsiveness due to the higher PPI and the fast IPS panel
- No scanlines and artifact issues
- Best gaming monitor yet on the market for games & movies
- Awesome viewing angles and a very good IPS contrast. The IPS glow is not entering anymore the center of the screen and is not changing anymore in viewing angles and the distance to the monitor
- Included monitor shading hoods

Nice to have:
- A good foot stand

Neutral:

- You cannot change the brightness when using HDR (There is still a trick where you simply can reduce RGB settings to reach a lower brightness)
- SDR Blooming
- Quantum Dot colors in SDR mode look very unnatural and very oversaturated but they are doing a GREAT job for HDR and
- 4:4:4 HDR @ 10-Bit in the graphics cards settings (8-Bit + FRC monitor) only @98HZ

Contra:

- Only an "okay" build quality for this price tag. The build quality is equal to the Acer X34P for example, which has a good overall build quality (for around 1000$)
- Inverse Blooming
- HDR Blooming is clearly more visible than when using SDR
- Extreme weird build in fan which sometimes can get extremely loud, especially when mounting the VESA mount on the monitor without modding it to let the fan "breathe"
- The amount of the IPS Glow and Backlight Bleed is unacceptable for the price tag even when it looks better than on current WQHD 165Hz IPS panels with activated local dimming zones
- Black crush above 120Hz (144Hz)
 


Check Price for the Acer X27 on Amazon


 

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1 comment

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1    hmmyeah    June 20, 2018 4:38 am
Nice review.

So its simply 4k 120hz 8 bit sdr monitor with 300 max brightness and poor contrast+ bad ips glow.

or 4k 98hz 10 bit hdr monitor with max 1000 peak brightness and buggy blooming + bad ips glow.

+trash fan

+small screen for 4k

aaaaaaaand its 2500 damn euro... lol

600 peak brightness + va panel and 1440p 27 inch because of the displayport and gpu power limitations(4k sweet but we are not there yet) seems more logical. But local dimming needs really good engineering. Also dont forget the proper tone mapping.

They are collecting r&d cost right now. Hope we will see better products with reasonable price soon. VA panel with miniled(1000+dimming zones) can mimic oled maybe.
Answer from Lim's Cave - June 20, 2018 5:55 pm

Yeah I also really hope so :) I mean the direct LED's are not bad but blooming is also more an issue on an IPS panel compared to blooming on a VA panel (simply due to the lower native contrast). I also would appreciate a 1440p direct led G-Sync gaming monitor ;(